District Judge Murphy’s arrogant ruling against the Spike petition cannot be allowed to stand. Murphy has quashed the right of North Platte citizens to vote on the Spike ballot measure.
The sponsors of the Spike Petition with help from the “Western Nebraska Taxpayers Association” are appealing District Judge Murphy’s ruling to the State Supreme Court. We are attempting to put the Spike measure back on the November ballot.
WE NEED FINANCIAL HELP:
Attorney fees could exceed over $20,000.
We will make sure 100% of your donation goes toward the legal bills
You can make your donation to either:
The Western Nebraska Taxpayers Association (WNTA) (non- tax-deductible)
Citizens in Charge Foundation (tax-deductible) in care of WNTA
Mail your donations to:
North Platte, Ne 69103
It is widely known that Murphy is the most overturned district judge by the Nebraska Court of Appeals. The Nebraska BAR Association has also given Murphy the lowest rating of any District judge in Nebraska.
Please pass this plea on to whoever you believe would like to help.
This time we can’t let the “good old boys” win.
Opinion - Opinion
by George Lauby (North Platte Bulletin) - 5/14/2010
Your honor, we agree.
Judge John Murphy handed down his ruling regarding the petition that would have cut a sliver of funds away from the Golden Spike Visitor’s Center.
We don’t agree with all of the decision, but we certainly respect his considered opinion.
We think the Spike issue should go before the voters. We think that would be just fine.
In his letter to the editor, city employee Darrell Mueller chooses to cast ill-informed dispersions on the character of WNTA members. Mueller hasn’t the slightest idea as to the character or track record of WNTA member’s involvement of doing well in their community. Mueller must not be familiar with the old adage that WNTA members live by: when doing for others “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”. If he did, he would not make false judgments about the good done by others. Unlike others, WNTA members do not pat themselves on the back for any involvement they may have given to civic projects paid for by the tax dollars or donations of their neighbors.
Mr. Mueller must excuse me if I have to sometimes be absent from public meetings. It’s not a mystery that I do have to make a living. North Platte residents pay city property taxes at a rate of $556 per $100,000 of valuation. It is the highest rate of the top 25 cities in Nebraska. It would be nice if citizens could pick and choose which portion of their property taxes they paid, but sadly they can’t. The city tax levy is made up of the four parts; General fund $276, pension fund $59 (for a select few fire and police members), bonded indebtedness $145 and Airport $76. Other cities such as Kearney ($157 in taxes), Columbus ($329), or Norfolk ($157) have kept their city debt and airport cost under control. These towns and others are able to improve infrastructure through operating money in the general fund. North Platte is limited... it is like the family who must skimp on their basic budget for food and medical, because of their excessive credit card, mortgage and car payments. In the case of North Platte its $69 million in debt burden, pension and airport costs that keeps it from spending more on basic government, such as fixing potholes. By the way North Platte’s general fund levy is not the lowest of comparable communities as Mueller states, but in fact, is somewhere in the middle.
The city’s leisure Services Director is correct when he says that North Platte is blessed with some public servants who are good stewards of the taxpayer’s money. But not all of them are department heads as Mueller implies.
Instant gratification and greed fuels the philosophy of spend, borrow and tax your grandchildren. It has threatening the integrity of our country and despite criticism from the likes of Blackledge and Mueller the WNTA will fight it, in whatever form it presents itself.
By DIANE WETZEL
Published: Saturday, May 8, 2010 4:09 AM CDT
The North Platte Telegraph
A sponsor of the petition that made its way onto the May 11 primary ballot said he was disappointed in a judge's recent ruling striking down that referendum initiative. The initiative would have changed the financing of the Golden Spike Tower and Visitors Center, requiring that occupation tax revenues would be used only to repay a loan that built the project, not for any operating costs. In a decision issued on May 3, Lincoln County District Judge John P. Murphy ruled that the County Clerk's office may not consider any votes on the issue.